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Dow closes above 14,000 for first time since 2007

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks rallied sharply Friday, with the Dow industrials closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007 following a positive US jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,009.79, up 149.21 points (1.08 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 1,513.17, up 15.06 (1.01 percent), while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 36.97 points (1.18 percent) to 3,179.10.

The Dow's breakthrough of the psychological 14,000 barrier followed a January US monthly jobs report that catalyzed markets.

The report showed employers added 157,000 jobs in January, fewer than expected, and the jobless rate inched up to 7.9 percent.

But revised data for all of 2012 heartened markets, with net job growth at an average of 181,000 a month, up from a prior estimate of 153,000.

The all-time Dow closing high was 14,164.53 on October 9, 2007.

The revisions to the 2012 jobs data "highlight even more how remarkably resilient the US labor market has been over the last two quarters," said Harm Bandholz of UniCredit.

The rally also came on the heels of corporate earnings reports that for the most part have either met or exceeded expectations.

All but two of the Dow's 30 blue-chip stocks rose: pharmaceutical giant Merck and computer maker Hewlett-Packard.

Among the Dow's biggest gainers were Bank of America (up 3.5 percent), United Technologies (up 2.6 percent), as well as telecoms AT&T (up 2.1 percent) and Verizon Communications (up 2.2 percent).

Oil company Chevron gained 1.2 percent on encouraging earnings and a modest rise in year-over-year output.

ExxonMobil edged up 0.1 percent. Despite reporting its best annual profits since 2008, fourth-quarter output fell below the year-ago level.

Merck fell 3.3 percent after pushing back the time-frame for seeking approval for a much-anticipated osteoporosis drug.

Hewlett-Packard slipped 0.3 percent after announcing it was closing an 1,100-employee site in Germany.

Anheuser-Busch InBev picked up 4.2 percent one day after the Department of Justice sued to block the company's takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.

Computer company Dell jumped 3 percent amid talk that its plan to take itself private could be announced next week.

Pfizer's animal-health unit Zoetis soared 19.27 percent to $31.01 in its market debut, the biggest since Facebook's May 2012 initial public offering. The Zoetis IPO raised $2.24 billion.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.01 percent from 1.99 late Thursday, while the 30-year jumped to 3.21 percent from 3.17. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/dow-closes-above-14000-first-time-2007-0